Joker star Joaquin Phoenix has been named by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as its 2019 Person of the Year.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Phoenix, who’s been a vegan since he was 3, has been a longtime supporter of the animal rights organisation.
The actor recently appeared on PETA’s “We Are All Animals” billboards as he promoted legislation to ban traveling wild-animal circuses; his partnership with PETA includes campaigns against exotic skins fishing, dog leather and the turkey industry.
Phoenix also executive produced The Animal People, a documentary about animal rights activists coming up against powerful industry interests.
Phoenix joins earlier PETA Person of the Year winners like Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey and Anjelica Huston and celebrities like Olivia Munn, Eva Mendes and Alicia Silverstone who have worked with PETA to create awareness of animal cruelty in fashion.
“Joaquin Phoenix never misses an opportunity to turn the spotlight away from himself and onto animals’ plight and to set a great example of walking the vegan walk,” PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement.